Growth Hacking Tools Marketers Shouldn't Ignore

There are literally dozens of tools out there designed to help companies grow fast by harnessing data to better inform business decisions. As a marketer, you don’t need all of them, but you can’t afford to ignore them completely.

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Introduction

Most people who work in marketing (and know how to read) will have heard of growth hacking by now. It’s getting to be a pretty big deal.

People are even calling it marketing 2.0.

If you’re a marketer, you probably feel a combination of interest and disdain for the subject. Interest regarding how these people have managed to grow companies with miniscule budgets; and disdain regarding the idea that they seem to be vying for your job.

As we’ve written about before, growth hacking is not out to sabotage the field of marketing. They are related, but different functions. 

One thing we’ve emphasized in many of our posts is that marketers are well-equipped to learn growth hacking. In fact, they already have an important third of the skillset a growth hacker needs.

(Growth hackers are a crossbreed of creative marketers, data scientists and computer programmers. Wait... if you don’t already know that, you should go back and read the comprehensive 7 Pillars of Growth Hacking.)

 

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But Why Should You Learn Growth Hacking?

Basically, you can’t afford not to. The companies that learn how to harness the power of data analytics, A/B testing, and process optimization in their product and marketing strategies, will be the ones growing and thriving tomorrow.

As you know by now, growth hacking is a highly data-driven practice.

It is about rapid experimentation across marketing channels, constant product iteration, and continual testing until product offers are in perfect sync with target customer segments.

It is an approach to boosting business growth by finding the most effective and efficient ways to gain and retain high-value customers. It uses technology to track, measure and understand customers, and then figure out exactly how to stimulate them to action.

 

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What Makes Growth Hacking Unique?

Now contrast this approach with the traditional way that marketing departments operate, downstream from the product development team. They are typically given a “finished” product and then tasked with developing a market for it.

(That must be frustrating)

Growth hackers live outside these departmental boundaries. The most effective growth hackers are not just marketers with technical skills, they are deeply involved in product management as well.

The data they collect is continually fed back into the product design process until a Product / Market fit (PMF) is reached.

(You reach PMF when at least 40% of your customers would be very disappointed if they could no longer use your product or service. It means your product and market are perfectly aligned.)

You then end up with a product perfectly tailored to your target customer; one they are delighted with and eager to share.

Instead of running big, expensive, difficult to track campaigns that are aimed at general awareness, and are based on assumptions about what customers want, growth hackers only move forward when the data shows they have achieved product market fit.

Then their marketing efforts are extremely targeted.

They understand it is not about the size of their reach, but about ensuring that the right people are reached--those with the highest potential to become high value customers.

By doing this they save money and set their companies up for exponential growth.

It’s kind of like if artificially intelligent supercomputers started running companies, designing and selling products that through careful calculation were guaranteed to be winners. (Yeah, that’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the point)

This data-based approach is how companies of the future will succeed and grow.

Are you convinced yet?

 

 

Learning Is Easier Than You Think

The good news is that growth hacking has come a long way.

Not only have the principles behind growth hacking been extensively written about, but many new tools have emerged that make measurement, tracking, testing, data analytics and landing page optimization possible with little or no technical knowledge.

As we’ve written about previously, any business owner can benefit tremendously from making use of these robust data tools.

Now think about how you, as a marketer, could improve your firm’s performance by learning some of these tools and techniques as well.

We’re going to introduce you to a couple of them.

 

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Tools You Should Be Using

Google Analytics (essential):

This powerful tool allows you to understand a lot about how users find, interact with and move through your website.

You can segment data according to demographics and technologies used. You can see what pages people look at, what pages they get stuck on, how long they spend on your site and much more.

You can track campaigns and see what channels, keywords and referral sources are bringing in traffic. And you can see where in the sales funnel they are dropping off, bringing you a step closer to figuring out why.

 

Google Tag Manager (essential):

This tool makes it easy to install and implement other measurement tools without getting into the code of your site. You can use it to maintain a good overview of which tools are currently running on your website and thus keep things organised.

You can also use Google Tag Manager for event tracking. This makes it much easier to track how much attention each of the buttons on your website get, and see the results within Google Analytics.

 

Kissmetrics:

This is an event-based tracking and measurement tool. The primary difference between Google Analytics (GA) and Kissmetrics is that GA tracks movements between specific URL’s within a website, whereas Kissmetrics allows you to understand the actual behavior your customers exhibit on individual pages.

Sounds a bit vague? Play with it and you’ll quickly figure it out.

Kissmetrics makes it possible to analyze and optimize the entire sales funnel, from awareness to retention. It also allows you to do things like A/B testing, custom targeting and cohort analyses. It’s a feature rich tool.

 

Hotjar:

This tool allows you to generate heatmaps and recordings of how your users move on your pages and what they look at. It helps you identify possible obstacles that could be optimized. You have:

1) Click/tap heatmaps that show what people are clicking (or tapping on in the case of mobiles and tablets). Are they clicking on your buttons? Which ones? Are they trying to click on things that should be buttons? It can give you tremendous insight regarding your design elements and how they help or hinder your users.

2) Movement heatmaps that show how and where people are moving their mouse cursors. People tend to move their cursors wherever they move their eyes. This will tell you what the areas of greatest interest are for your user. What do they focus on within each particular page?

3) Scroll heatmaps that tell you how far down people actually scroll on your pages. You can see the exact percentage of visitors that scroll to a certain part of the page. Do you have important information way down where nobody is seeing it?


 

Using Them Properly

These tools are very powerful and relatively easy to use. Best of all, they take very little technical knowledge, meaning you won’t have to go back to school and learn programming in order to start optimizing things. 

Of course, it does take effort. There is a lot to learn. It is important that the tools are set up properly. The data you collect needs to be interpreted properly and turned into actionable information before it will do any good. 

Many busy companies, instead of learning themselves, opt to hire a growth hacking team. The advantage of this is that a growth hacking team will already be intimately familiar with all the tools, and if extra functionality is needed they can build custom tools for whatever your specific business needs are.

Getting formal training is also an option. At RockBoost, for example, we don’t only do the work for you, but we also offer in house training where we come to your offices and train your teams to begin growth hacking themselves. We will also be launching online courses in the near future.


 

The Bottom Line

There are literally dozens of tools out there designed to help companies grow fast by harnessing data to better inform business decisions.

As a marketer, you don’t need all of them, but you can’t afford to ignore them completely.

The bottom line is that the days of guesswork are over. When you learn how to leverage data, your marketing efforts are going to become way more target, much more lean, and far more effective.

All professions evolve over time as technology progresses, and marketing is no different. People with an attitude of continuous learning are able to maintain a cutting edge in their field.

We hope this brief introduction will be helpful as you embark on your own road towards achieving growth!

Happy hacking!

Chris Out Chris Out
RockBoost
follow me: @chrisout